How to minimize cannabis risks

Published Mar 3, 2021 12:00 p.m. ET
iStock / Darren415

We love to boast about the multitude of benefits that can be achieved through the use of cannabinoids, as there are many, but it’s also just as important for us to equip you with the information you’ll need to mitigate some of the risks of cannabis. So here, we’re going to cover some of the basics that can help to avoid the majority of the adverse effects that are possible with cannabis.

1. Low doses

Low doses of cannabinoids do not guarantee that you’ll avoid some slight discomfort as you experiment with and get used to the sensations that go along with them, but they can help to make sure that the effects are gentler and more manageable. Doing so will also ensure that your tolerance is built slower, biding you time before feeling it necessary to graduate to more potent alternatives.

2. Manage the frequency

For those who use cannabis as a therapeutic tool, the idea of going without might not be possible, but for both consumers, frequency is something that should be monitored closely. If you find that you’ve gone from toking on the weekends to needing it day and night, then you might be slowly becoming reliant on cannabis. Getting addicted to cannabis might not be the life-threatening endeavor you’d expect with other drugs, but it can be unpleasant, and it can be one of the unfortunate adverse effects of cannabis.

3. Take tolerance breaks as needed

Managing frequency can help you to stick to a budget while maintaining a lower tolerance of cannabinoids, but an even more effective way of assuring that you avoid spending or smoking too much is to take regularly scheduled tolerance breaks. If you feel any adverse effects, such as a decrease in motivation, or an increase in irritation without your precious pot products, then it’s safe to say that it’s probably a good time to take a tolerance break.

4. Stay away from smokables

Becoming reliant on or numb to the effects of cannabis are two unfortunate possibilities that tend to follow, taking too much for too long, but the damage to lung health is something that only comes from smoking, dabbing, or vaping cannabis. Though there is no clear connection between more terrifying conditions such as cancer and smoking cannabis, we do know that inhaling any smoke is a bad idea, so it’s best to be avoided whenever and wherever possible, in the best interest of your health.

5. Always keep your devices clean

You can end up puking from coughing or just taking too much of any one particular cannabis element, but if you insist on inhalation, then you’ll need to keep your devices spotless to avoid the potential of lung infections or an increase in other breathing related difficulties. The wet insides of your pipe, bong, or dab rig offer the perfect breeding environment for bacteria, so keep ahead of it all by cleaning your device on the regular, preferably with chemical-free options that you won’t have to worry about breathing in.

6. Use it only when you’re in the right state of mind


In many cases, cannabis can help to improve your mood and lift you up when you need it the most, but if you get ahold of the wrong strain or just happen to be unlucky enough to have a different reaction, then things can go sideways quickly. Therefore, it’s best to use cannabinoids only when you’re in a clear and positive state of mind. Of course, that isn’t always possible when it’s what you need to get out of that funk. Still, it’s best to tread these waters with caution.

7. Pay close attention to the effects

Do you notice that cannabis makes you a bit lazy? Or perhaps, it has the opposite effect and certain strains to stimulate your mind to the point where sleep or rest is impossible. Either way, there is an ideal time and place to be using cannabis, and it’s best to plan around them according to how it impacts you. It’s also important to note that you might find certain strains to invoke darker or less enjoyable sensations. Avoid those like the plague and stick to what works.

8. Safe storage practices

We talk about the adverse effects of cannabis as if they can only influence those who use it, but the truth is that it can reach much further than that. One of the biggest risks of cannabis is that it will find its way into the hands of someone or something that shouldn’t have it, and that’s why safe storage practices are essential. Following strict rules surrounding secured access can help to ensure that none of your pot products is ever available for kids or innocent pets to get into, which is why everyone should have them.

9. Only consume cannabis in the appropriate environments

Cannabinoids might seem harmless enough, and in general, they are, but in certain situations, it’s probably best to avoid them entirely. You see, how cannabis affects you has a lot to do with how you feel and what you have to do when using it. So, a buzz during a test might not be as good of an idea as taking a few hits before soaking in some sun in the safety of your backyard, as where you’re safest will always be the best bet for the most thorough enjoyment of cannabis.

10. Never operate heavy machinery while under the influence of cannabis

No matter how experienced you may be or how high of a tolerance you might have, using cannabinoids can alter things like reaction time, and they can fill you with an overwhelming euphoric sensation that makes it hard to concentrate. Even if you think it’s safe, one of the biggest cannabis risks you will ever face while stoned is the operation of heavy machinery. To keep yourself and everyone else around you safe, it’s best to maintain a clear head when these operating skills are needed.

These aren’t the only ways to reduce cannabis risks, but this list offers a good bunch of rules and guidelines that every responsible cannabis consumer should follow and or consider.

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